Before his name is splashed on a marquee Nico Tortorella is already polished; he dresses impeccably and speaks like the best screenwriters in Tinseltown have crafted his lines. “My body is my journal,” he says. “It reminds me who I am and where I came from.” Nowhere is this more evident than on his arm. “It’s an ode to my grandma in the form of an antique frame, a portrait of my grandpa from WWII—I was lucky enough to get a session with Kat Von D and she fucking killed it, as always—my lucky number 39, and my brother’s name, Rocco.” He also has a set of antlers on his feet. “They’re a reminder that every year I will shed in one way or another—always ready for new growth, shed, growth.” As for the rest of his ink: “I show my connection to the natural world, unnaturally inked. I thrive off contradiction, enabling me to not take myself too seriously.”
Tortorella is currently in Wes Craven’s Scream 4 alongside David Arquette, Neve Campbell, and Courteney Cox, and this summer moviegoers will see him in the Nicolas Cage–Nicole Kidman vehicle Trespass. The man doesn’t even have an imdb.com credit earlier than the Obama administration (his other projects include only Twelve and the TV series The Beautiful Life and Make It or Break It), but he’s the real deal.
“Would the people behind the scenes prefer me to not have any tattoos? Absolutely, but [tattoos are] almost expected these days,” he says. “All my actor friends are tatted. We just have to spend a little more time in the makeup chair.” For this he has no apologies, save one: “I apologize now to any and all future makeup artists, but I can’t stop doing me.”